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Effective CASA Advocacy in a Virtual Environment Webinar

Presented by Texas CASA

If you missed the Effective CASA Advocacy in a Virtual Environment webinar on June 26, don’t worry! You can view a recording of the webinar below. You’ll also find links to resources mentioned during the webinar. Feel free to share them with your network and if you have any questions, please reach out to the Texas CASA Public Policy team at publicpolicy@texascasa.org.

Watch a recording of the webinar.

Watch court hearing live streams.

Visit Texas CASA’s COVID-19 resource page.

Download the CASA Zoom backgrounds.

COVID-19 Safety Tips: Resources to prevent abuse

From the Montgomery county District Attorney’s Office

Download Safety Tips.

Building Connection & Community Resources

(Drip Learning date: 04-01-2020)

A lot is going on in our communities right how. We want to share some ways to connect with your children and also some community resources. Please make sure you are communicating with your CASA Supervisor if you become aware that any of our children are without basic necessities.

Children who have experienced trauma need connection to feel safe. How can an Advocate build connection with their CASA child/children during this time when face-to-face visits are imposssible? Here are some ideas:

  • Do a Zoom video call with your child. Allowing your CASA child to see you is so important. (CPS is using video calls for all their virtual visits, so all caregivers and RTCs should have this capability.) Use the “screen share” feature and show the child pictures you may have taken during your visits. Another idea is to bring your pets onto the screen so that your CASA child can meet your pets.
  • Color a picture together. Download and print a picture from HERE ahead of your Zoom or Facetime call. Send a copy of the picture to the caregiver and have them print it. You and your CASA child can then color a picture together during your call.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt! Each of you can find things in your own respective homes. Ideas are in the images below.
  • TikTok! TiKTok is a site where people make short dance videos set to music. They are big with teens and tweens. Chose a TikToc video ahead of your call (make sure it is developmentally appropriate) and use screen share to show it to your child. You can also try to copy the dance together.

Rainbow Scavenger HuntInventor Scavenger Hunt

Indoor Games and Activities FUMC Montgomery Food Bank


Children’s Ability to Focus by Age

(Drip Learning date: 03-30-2020)

When moving from educating children in the classroom into the home setting, it is important to keep in mind how long children are able to focus to learn at one time. It is unreasonable for a caregiver to expect a child to sit and focus on school work for an extended period of time.

Childhood development experts generally say that a reasonable attention span to expect of a child is two to three minutes per year of their age. That’s the period of time for which a typical child can maintain focus on a given task.

Average attention spans work out like this:

  • 2 years old: four to six minutes
  • 4 years old: eight to 12 minutes
  • 6 years old: 12 to 18 minutes
  • 8 years old: 16 to 24 minutes
  • 10 years old: 20 to 30 minutes
  • 12 years old: 24 to 36 minutes
  • 14 years old: 28 to 42 minutes
  • 16 years old: 32 to 48 minutes

To learn more CLICK HERE.

facing education challenges during covid-19
Presented by Linda Chilcoat, CASA Case Supervisor & Education Committee Member

Tips for Video Chatting with Young Children – Staying Connected While Far Apart

(Drip Learning date: 03-26-2020)

Children as young as 8 months old respond very well to interactions with people via video chat platforms. Research shows that interactive, responsive experiences in real time via video chat enhance even very young children’s language learning. This means as long as the person on the other side of the screen is interacting with and responding in real time, they are not only staying connected to the young child, but can also have many of the positive impacts of responsive communication.

Read full article.

How to Use Zoom Meeting and Video Conferencing

(Drip Learning date: 03-26-2020)

This video will help you learn how to set up your meetings and video conferencing with children and caregivers. Please note that for the virtual trainings and meetups listed on our events calendar, you will just follow the instructions to join those existing meetings (these meetings have already been set up by others, so no set up is required on your part!)

In this video, the presenter is going to be showing you how to use Zoom in 2020 for both meetings and video conferencing. Although this Zoom tutorial is primarily for teachers (he often references “lectures” rather than “meetings”), it is a quick tutorial that covers all the basics you need to learn how to use Zoom and launch your own Zoom meeting and video conferencing within 5 minutes.


(Drip Learning date: 03-25-2020)

If the caregivers for your CASA child are struggling, there are many community resources that exist to help. We do not want any child’s needs to be unmet during this time. Here are some examples:

If your CASA child is in need of resources other than what is listed above or documented below, please let your CASA Supervisor know, and we will find a community resource to meet those needs.

Child, caregivers, and family contact checklist for CASA Advocates

(Drip Learning date: 03-25-2020)

Please find below a new checklist we have developed to guide you in your Advocacy during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are guidelines that are strongly encouraged but not required. Please contact your supervisor if you have any questions.

Checklist imageChecklist page 2 image

Download the checklist here.

CPS Caseworker Guidelines DURING COVID-19

(Drip Learning date: 03-25-2020)

Below are the guidelines that have been given to the CPS Caseworkers who work with our children. These guidelines are for your information only so that you are aware of how CPS is operating at this time.

These guidelines DO NOT have any bearing on how CASA Advocates are conducting visits or our advocacy. These are for informational purposes only!



How Trauma May Impact Children During The COVID-19 Pandemic | Presented By Dr. Bruce Perry
(Drip Learning date: 03-23-2020)

This discusses stress, distress and how the pattern of stress can determine whether stress is destructive (sensitizing) or positive (resilience building). Focus on the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Messages For Parents, School Staff, And Others Working With Children
(Drip Learning date: 03-12-2020)

As public conversations around coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increase, children may worry about themselves, their family, and friends getting ill with COVID-19. Parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. CDC has created guidance to help adults have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.